IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said
today it is investing $1 million to help establish Advans Cote d’Ivoire,
a microfinance instition that will support the growth of smaller businesses
in Ivory Coast as the country rebuilds its economy following political
unrest. The announcement came during an official visit to the country by
Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The equity investment in Advans Cote d’Ivoire,
which is expected to begin operations in early 2012, underscores IFC’s
ability to respond rapidly to support countries in Africa recovering from
policital and economic strife.
Advans Cote d’Ivoire will serve small and
medium enterprises in Ivory coast that have limited or no access to formal
banking services, broadening access to finance and stimulating economic
growth in the country.
Claude Falgon, Manager of Advans SA SICAR,
said, “Advans Côte d’Ivoire will make a significant contribution to the
recovery and development of the Ivorian economy by providing quality financial
services that micro, small and middle size enterprises need to grow and
to create jobs.”
With IFC’s support, Advans Cote d’Ivoire
expects its microfinance portfolio to reach $35 million by the end of 2017
and to disburse 100,000 loans by this time, half of them to women.
Theirry Tanoh, said, “IFC’s investment
in Advans is part of our strategy for re-engagement in Cote d’Ivoire,
a country emerging from a crisis that effected its political structures,
as well as economic and social fabric. To aid the recovery process, IFC
is committed to supporting micro, small and medium enterprises, which are
vital sectors of economic activity in Cote d’Ivoire.”
IFC has a strong and long-standing partnership
with the Advans group, which is building a network of microfinance institutions
in developing and emerging countries. IFC has previously worked with Advans
to establish microfinance institutions in Cameroon, DRC, and Ghana. IFC’s
microfinance strategy for Africa aims to increase access to finance in
the poorest areas through commercially viable microfinance institutions.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Advans SA
Advans SA is headquartered in Luxembourg
and was launched in December 2005. Its mission is to build a network of
microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing and emerging countries to
cater to the financial needs of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises,
which have limited or no access to formal banking services. The Advans
network currently spans six countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire. Advans MFIs serve more
than 257,000 loan clients from 70 branches, and have an outstanding loan
portfolio of circa EUR 64 million. Over the next three years, Advans SA
plans to establish 6 to 7 new MFIs in Africa, Asia and the Middle-East.
For more information, please visit www.advansgroup.com.